Overview

In 1956 Robert Steedman set up the office of Morris and Steedman in his flat in Albyn Place in Edinburgh,(James Morris being away at this time in the US and completing his National Service) He was also a lecturer at the Edinburgh College of Art,and worked part time for Robert Matthew Johnson Marshall.

 

In parallel they designed an extremely fine series of elegant modern private houses,which received widespread coverage in the Press and magazines. Later, the practice received commissions from the Universities of Edinburgh, Strathclyde and Stirling, together with numerous public, industrial, office and hotel clients. As qualified landscape architects, they were involved in major landscape works for Universities, Local Authorities, oil companies and the Garden Pavilion for the Royal Fine Art Commission for Scotland at the Glasgow Garden Festival.

 

The practice won the European Architectural Heritage Medal for the restoration and transformation into an Art Gallery of the Perth Waterworks, the Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland Award on two occasions, several Civic Trust Awards, and the Royal Institute of British Architects for Scotland Awards, one for his house in Fife.

 

Finally he was presented with the Lifetime Achievment Award by the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland, and an entry of his life story in the British Library archives under Architects Lives.

 

Steedman was Secretary of the RSA (1983-1990); Deputy President (1982-1983; 2000-2001). He was also elected a member of the newly-created RSA Foundation in 2013. He was awarded the OBE in 1997 for services to Architecture and the Built Environment. Both Morris and Steedman retired in 2002 and the practice and offices were sold to Ne Begg, which became Morris & Steedman Associates.

Biography

Robert Steedman RSA was born at Batu Gajah, Malaysia in 1929. From 1949 Steedman studied at the School of Architecture, Edinburgh College of Art where he was awarded a travelling scholarship in 1952. His future partner James Shepherd Morris also gained a travelling scholarship in the same year and together they made their way across Switzerland, Italy and Greece. In 1953 they returned through France and Spain to resume their studies at ECA.

 

After graduation Steedman travelled extensively throughout the United States, visiting houses and other buildings by Mies van der Rohe, Richard Neutra, Frank Lloyd Wright, Philip Johnson, and Louis Khan, architects whose work he had admired as a student in Edinburgh and camping wherever possible in the impressive national Parks. He then visited Japan studying the traditional gardens, houses and palaces, where the modular plans and flexibility of spaces were inspirational.

Exhibitions